Following Peter Bauer’s blog on scalability in this series on high-performance computing (HPC), here I discuss the emerging challenge of greater diversity in computer architectures – set to be another key topic at ECMWF’s HPC Workshop in September.

In the past decade we have been used to the dominance of a single vendor in HPC processors: Intel. With their now ubiquitous x86 architecture, Intel processors currently power 95% of the systems in the June 2018 Top500 list. However, 2018 has seen the emergence of viable alternatives to this status quo.